Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition 2016 - Shortlist Announced

Earlier this month you may recall I posted about the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition, an event I’ve been involved in helping judge for the last few years. Alongside 39 other music writers, I whittle down the thousands of entries to a long list of 120 that are then put forward to another panel to decide the final short list of 8. And yes, to answer the question I get asked a lot, every single act that enters gets listened to.

This year the long list was of exceptionally high quality and I’m sure that those involved on the second panel must have found it very difficult to choose who to put through.

Today the 8 artists who have been selected for the live final are announced. They will all play at Pilton Working Men’s Club (from the outside it looks like the most non rock ‘n’ roll venue you can imagine – see the picture above) on April 9th to an invite only audience. The winner is guaranteed a slot on a main stage at the festival as well as a £5,000 PRS Music Foundation Talent Development prize to help take their music to the next level.

The 8 finalists draw from a range of musical genres, styles and positions. There's the likes of Henry Green who after covering MGMT's Electric Feel found well known producer and chart hit maker Kygo remixing it in 2014, enabling Green to then get exposure for his songs Barcelona and Slow which went on to be Hype Machine blog hits. Barcelona currently has over 430,000 streams on Soundcloud. 

At the other end of the scale there's acoustic artist Hattie Whitehead who currently has less than 500 plays on her Soundcloud for her song Confused and Untied as does Birmingham MC Lady Sanity, who quotes the likes of Missy Elliot and Lauryn Hill as inspirations. I'm also really pleased to see She Drew The Gun on the list - an act that I wrote / raved about just the other day after their song Poem absolutely floored me. It's a diverse list - the question now is which one of these acts can deliver the best live performance? From attending the competition final in previous years I can confirm that every time there seems to be one or two or three acts that just nail their performance on the night over everyone else, and they are the ones who always end up either winning or being runners up. So far every year I've agreed with the choices of the judges on the night.

The final 8 are listed below, together with a Soundcloud playlist for you to hear them all.

They are Bossy Love, Early Ghost, Gillbanks, Hattie Whitehead, Henry Green, Lady Sanity, Marcus McCoan, She Drew The Gun. 


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